A new crop of budding survivalists has gotten off the couch this week to see if they have what it takes to score the $10,000 grand prize on I Survived Bear Grylls (Thursdays on TBS at 9:00 pm ET/PT). “You’re going to be taken to your limits,” evil mastermind Bear promises, explaining the challenges will feel “crushing, terrifying, bloody.” Up for the challenge: Zach, a father of six; Michelle, an athlete from New Jersey; Sarah a radio DJ; Derrick, a homeschool dad; and drag queen Tila. Ahead are the episode’s top moments from each of the four challenges.
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It’s All Going Downhill From Here
For the first competition, Bear guides players to Mount Sherpa, named for the great Nepalese climbers he’s spent so much time with on expeditions. The scenario: a member of the players’ climbing party is injured, so they must transport leaking buckets of liquid to the top of a slippery slope while dodging boulders, mountain goats and other hazards raining down from above. Michelle boasts she’s a diehard athlete — and she puts her money where her mouth is when she carries her bucket up the mountain with her teeth so she can better grab onto the rope to pull herself to the top. Homeschool dad Derrick knows a winning technique when he sees one and steals her strategy. Karma comes calling, and Michelle accidentally plows into him while sliding back down the slope.
It’s time to head to the desert for the next round, I Can’t Stomach This. Bear informs the remaining four players that dehydration is the biggest killer in the wild. The survivalist learned that lesson the hard way when he was in the Sahara without water and was forced to drink fluid from a dead camel’s stomach. In this case, the amateurs must squeeze rancid liquids from stomachs into their mouths and then into a glass, which they then must sip through a straw — without vomiting. Even more shocking than the challenge is one competitor’s confession: “I tasted my pee once,” the player tells Bear, explaining that watching survival shows led to the foul feat. “I did it out of curiosity.” Another player ups the ante, admitting they also swilled some pee in the past — but not their own.
Extreme Role Model
Blast Off takes the players to the swamp and the threat of flashfloods. “This challenge is about are you ready for the unexpected,” Bear warns the budding survivalists about their task of scaling a climbing wall while keeping an egg safe in their mouths. To up the ante, Bear’s co-host, comedian Jordan Conley, gets to man a cold-water cannon to create chaos on the contestants’ quest to make it the farthest before falling. During the competition, one player has an epiphany — Bear’s got some skills. “When you hear stories, such as Bear crossing a ravine, you can sit there and say, ‘Oh, ah, that sounds crazy.’ But then you do a simplified version of that, and it really puts in perspective just how crazy what he did was,” the player notes. “I look up to him for sure.”
Ready, Set, Survive
The final match, Fire and Ice, heats up the competition between the final two aspiring survivalists, who are still shivering and cold from the water cannon. The task: Retrieve a frozen 50-pound dummy from a frozen ice bath, navigate it beneath netting and get over a wall. Whoever can then start a fire and get their flame to burn through a cord wins the cash prize. The best part of this competition is seeing the player who loses actually go away with an inspiring achievement under their belt. “I really wanted to win, but I’m not beating myself up. I feel so proud of myself,” the second-place finisher says, adding they’ve demonstrated how capable they are of taking on a challenge and successfully proven to themselves they’re still an adventurer at heart.